Forbes recently published an article, Social TV Data Is Not The New Nielsen: How It Might Be Better, about whether the average viewer would engage and “lean forward” with television shows in a more active way. The article notes, with the current state of this evolving industry, there are few straight forward conclusions to drawn upon just yet. However, Michael Humphrey, Forbes Contributor, highlights several companies who are working towards game changing answers.
On one side of the argument experts argue no, viewers will not engage with social tv tools, and the metrics do not offer official tracking results, only guesstimates. Experts beg to differ, stating whether the results are 100% accurate or not does not matter. What counts is that there is a huge opportunity out there to engage with the audience in ways that broadcasters and producers have never been able to before, that goes beyond just metrics.
Moyra Rodger, CEO Magnify Digital, weighed in on this topic by stating that producers and broadcasters are not monitoring social data early enough in the process in order to make strategic decisions.
While the entire industry is maneuvering their way through new tools, metrics, statistics, and reports, only one thing can be said for certain of the future of social tv: it is not going away anytime soon.
Read the full article here.
Tweet us @magnifydigital or comment below to let us know your thoughts about the future of Social TV.
And now for something completely different: some of my favourite websites!
The websites listed first are the kind that might make you wonder why someone bothered. But I think they’re terrific & fun.
Human Clock (Note: Stay on this site for at least one minute to appreciate)
I always harp on about how a website should have a clear purpose. Visitors need to “get” what it is you want them to do when they land on your homepage. These sites are some of the clearest I’ve seen:
Is it old? Sadly, I see this one is down due to Twitter changes. Shame. You used to be able to plug in a URL to gauge how old & tired it was. In other words, how many times it had already been tweeted. The purpose was to save you embarrassment.
And then, there are the websites that, with a little input from you, create something amazing.
Now I know you’re wishing I’d listed that website, you know the one. And I would have – but I was saving that honor for you. Please use the comment section below.
We’ve all been there, sitting down to watch the latest episode of say … The Bachelorette. As we hit the first ad break we check our Twitter feed and that’s when it happens. Twitter ruins everything. Within a few seconds we discover who has been voted off. Thanks Twitter. Thanks “friends” on the East Coast.
The truth is: social media is ruining TV.
Over the last few months there has been a number of high profile spoilers. Lets begin with the highest profile spoiler of the summer – NBC’s North American coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. Instead of showing some popular Olympic events live, NBC delayed them to a primetime slot. This made sense for the broadcaster, more viewers = more advertising revenue, but it didn’t make sense for viewers. For example, the much anticipated 400m swimming duel between American swimming giants Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps was shown during an NBC primetime slot. The result of the event, which had taken place six hours earlier, had already been thoroughly posted, tweeted, and retweeted all over social media. This resulted in an online backlash against the broadcaster with #NBCSucks and #NBCFail trending worldwide.
In the UK, popular talent show “The Voice” was dragged into an online furor thanks to a Tweet from one of the show’s judges. The judge in question, popstar Jessie J is well known for being outspoken but it was a picture that got her in trouble. The show was approaching the semi final stages. Viewers were intrigued to learn which two members of Jessie J’s team were going to make it. Three hours before the show aired, Jessie J tweeted a picture showing herself and her two chosen semi finalists along with the caption, “Team Jessie.” Viewers were outraged and complained to the broadcaster.
Hit design show Project Runway is currently taking extra steps to avoid spoiler activity in social media. The show, screened across North America, developed Realtime Runway. The tool allows viewers to filter tweets by timezones. Meaning, if the show already aired in Toronto, viewers in Vancouver can avoid seeing what’s being said about the show by using Realtime Runway instead of their own Twitter feed. Again, with a show as popular as Project Runway this will probably mean West Coast viewers will have to endure a social media blackout for a few hours, but is it not worth it if it keeps the magic of television alive?
So have you ever had a show ending spoiled for you? Have you seen any other tools that help to avoid social media spoilers?
We actively monitor the trends in the TV industry and take pleasure in predicting the road ahead. These past couple of years have seen an explosion in social TV apps, like GetGlue, SocialGuide, Miso, and the list goes on. Each of these apps continues to evolve and change, each app trying to lead the way to a new kind of television watching experience. There have been some interesting developments along the way but I have personally never seen a closer glimpse into the future of television than I did today. And it wasn’t in the form of an app.
This week the Huffington Post went live with HuffPost Live. The Huffington Post, known as an online news outlet, now offers live TV-like coverage of news, entertainment, sports, tech and science. But how it does this, in my mind, is the closest anyone’s come to the future of TV and TV watching. Here’s why.
1. Like traditional television news broadcasts, HuffPost Live still decides which stories it will serve up and in which order. This will be familiar to a passive audience and satisfy that desire for conventional TV watching. However, a more engaged audience is also served by the Featured Videos bar at the bottom of the screen offering past segments like so:
This gives control to the viewer. There is no need to sit through a segment of no interest like one has to with traditional TV watching. One can browse the archive and play only the pieces that pique curiosity.
2. There is live integration of comments from the audience in every segment. A live Twitter stream is featured prominently on the right-hand side of the screen inviting viewers to “Join This Segment”. Anyone can participate in the conversation at any time.
3. Even though HuffPost Live offers “live” coverage with real-time audience engagement, it also caters to time-shifted viewing by offering not just archived content, but also the archived conversation generated when the piece first aired. So it’s not just the content that can be seen again, it’s also the experience.
4. Every news item comes with a list of resources. Now viewers who wish to learn more than can possibly be covered in a 3-4 minute conversation, can read up. Furthermore, the resources are categorized in a helpful way. For example: “Key Article”, “Background”, “Big Picture” and so on. Of course some of the articles are from Huffington Post, but not all. Viewers can also review at any time, who the guests are. How many times have you been listening to someone speak and wished you could rewind the part where they showed the speaker’s name and title?
5. Many guests participate via Google+ Hangouts. Google+ Hangouts are entirely accessible by anyone in the world with an internet connection and a Google account. No fancy, expensive satellite trucks required… which is a great segue to the next point.
6. HuffPost Live is accessible to anyone with an internet connection. No need for a TV. No need for cable service or TV antennas.
7. HuffPost Live just might make live TV broadcasts more meaningful by letting viewers look ahead to what’s coming up – and prepare. Not only can viewers browse upcoming stories, they can also read articles related to the story in advance of its live broadcast. This could create a more enhanced understanding of the broadcast, not to mention a more enhanced television experience overall.
8. It probably won’t last but for now, HuffPost Live is commercial-free. TV of the future doesn’t have to include advertising.
9. Video playback sources on HuffPost Live include YouTube and other online video sites. Once again, no state-of-the-art playback machines required, not to mention mountains of tape.
10. Streaming live on the internet has never been so seamless. I was tuned in for almost 3 hours (in the background at times) and not once experienced significant drop-outs or buffering issues.
I’m very excited to see such a successful attempt at making the TV experience more social, more accessible and more meaningful for viewers. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
The element of surprise can be a highly effective marketing tool to create brand awareness. Take for example, the flash mob. According to urbandictionary.com a flash mob is;
“A group of people who appear from out of nowhere, to perform predetermined actions, designed to amuse and confuse surrounding people.”
Since its emergence in New York in 2003, the flash mob has been used as a successful visual marketing tool for many companies. Here are two companies whose flash mob video productions have become among the most viewed on YouTube.
The title for the most viewed flash mob video on YouTube goes to an Ontario-based company called Alphabet Photography. This company shows that you don’t need a large budget for your flash mob production; just talented performers, clever planning and lots of surprised onlookers. Their flash mob video, “Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus – Must See!” went viral soon after it was posted on YouTube and has received over 38 million views. After its release, the video was featured across world media and the company has since received royal approval from Prince Charles himself! The end board of the video lists information about Alphabet Photography’s website and a seasonal greeting, which serve to heighten awareness of the company.
Mobile Phone Company T-Mobile has two flash mob videos appearing in the “Top Ten Flash Mob Videos on YouTube.” Their UK-based “Life’s for Sharing” campaign features flash mobs taking place in the busiest transport hubs in the UK. Collectively, their big budget, all-singing all-dancing flash mobs have received over 46 million YouTube views. T-Mobile also creates individual campaigns around each video with a behind the scenes look at the flash mob organization, and reaction from the public after the flash mob has taken place. Before you check out the flash mob videos below be warned that “The T-Mobile Welcome Back” is quite a tearjerker!
So what lessons can we take from the examples shown above?
- A well organized and entertaining flash mob video has potential to go viral, regardless of the size of your budget.
- Theme your video so that it has lasting appeal and makes a connection with your business. A significant portion of Alphabet Photography’s business is in the gift market. The company’s flash mob video likely receives an increase in views and shares around Christmas which may increase web traffic and potential revenue.
- Flash mob videos such as “The T-Mobile Welcome Back,” that include unsuspecting onlookers being caught up in the action, rate highest on YouTube.
- Film everything! Footage of the organization of the flash mob and snippets from behind the scenes can be used as part of an extended campaign before and after the release of the flash mob video.
So, have any of these stories inspired you to consider using a flash mob video as part of your next online marketing campaign?